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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hope Continued

In mid-Feb I wrote a post that explored the personal, subjective nature of hope. I suggested that hope needs to begin internally as an answer and anchor for the inner needs of each individual. I still believe this to be the case but I also believe that, concurrently, hope needs to be nurtured within community.

This is Christian hope because I believe that hope can only be ultimately complete in and through Jesus Christ. It stands to reason that the communal focus of this hope is the Christian community as it is found in the local church. I am assuming a great deal in making this statement but I believe, at a fundamental level, that the local church can be a community of hope where individuals who have connected with the ultimate ground of hope as it is found in Jesus Christ are connected in a communal journey towards that hope.

I am re-reading Moltmann's "Theology of Hope" plus exploring the internet. Church can be seen in these times through negative lens' but I believe that the local church holds enormous potential but a part of the solution to re-establishing the local church as a voice of hope is to find ways of clearly articulating that hope. Too often Christian faith is seen as "getting over the line" and collecting a "ticket to heaven". Apart from being far too reductionistic this also strips this life of all of the potential that eschatological hope brings.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Hope IS found in Christian community - I've experienced this powerfully since my wife & unborn daughter died last year. Yet this offering of hope is ultimately fleeting as people move on and Christian communities journey on to the next "thing" in their lives.

True, lasting hope is found in God, and so in the hope of heaven. The truth that I will meet my wife, and our daughter, and miscarried children some day is the only hope that keeps me going sometimes - the hope offered from Christian communities sometimes isn't enough. Maybe this is because we are human, sinful, and in "temporary residence" ourselves...hence our offer of hope within Christian communities, reflects this?